Turtle Tracks

Hi. My name is Jen Selinsky, and I’ve been a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles since 1990. For the next couple years, I found myself obsessed with the franchise. Primarily, there was the TV show. I also collected some of the action figures, plush toys, and trading cards. And though I wasn’t adamant that I had to have everything turtle related, those who knew me were also aware of my obsession.

As I merged into my adolescence, I became obsessed with other things, such as boys. I’d dated a few guys during junior high and high school; it became obvious that I’d abandoned my four reptilian friends for a sudden surge of hormones!

Fast forward fourteen years, to 2014, and I found myself refascinated with the continuing lives of the four shell dwellers just as I had left them all those years ago. I was in my mid-thirties with a house, a husband, and a full-time job. It turns out that my husband had also collected some TMNT items as a child, so we merged our merchandise and added a little more to the pile.

Some of the things which we now possess include: a complete DVD set of the original animated series, all the movies, the 1997 live action TV show, some of the Nickelodeon series, several more books, comics, and graphic novels, and two more plush toys.

In December 2016, I learned that “Mikey” and “Raph” were going to make an appearance at a local mall. And, despite the fact that I thought some people were going to roll their eyes because they think I am too old for this kind of thing, I went to the location.

After I ducked into the bookstore for some late Christmas shopping, I headed over to the line for the turtles. It seemed relatively long. At first, I’d contemplated just leaving, since I was doing this only for myself, but once the line started moving, I stayed because I figured I didn’t have too much longer to wait.

I was also a little self-conscious because of the fact that I seemed to be the only grown-up there unaccompanied by a child. The closest thing which gave me a little comfort was the presence of three adolescents who were ahead of me in line.

After some more time had passed, I struck up a conversation with the woman behind me. She held the hand of her young daughter, who happened to be dressed up like one of the turtles. When I told her that I was thirty-eight, she didn’t scoff at me. Rather, she said something along the lines of “to each her own.” Those kind words, indeed, did make me feel better.

As my feet shuffled even closer to the friendly mascot, I noticed that Mikey was gone. The father of the little girl behind me said that Mikey was probably on his pizza break. I figured that he just needed a break in general—probably so he could catch his breath from having been buried inside that hot costume!

I was disappointed that only Raph remained behind, as Mikey is one of my favorites, but I did not leave because I had waited in line long enough. Perhaps Mikey would come back before I got to my turn.

That was not the case, but Raph’s smiling mask beckoned me forward as I handed the nice woman behind me my cell phone. Raph put his arm around me like we had known each other for years, and the woman managed to get a photo of the two of us. And while the picture is not very flattering, I am glad that I waited in line to have it taken. This is just one small example of how perseverance makes everything worthwhile once you reach your destination!



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